Support for a Quebec restaurateur threatened by lack of French
The Quebec restaurateur who received threats of phone calls last week for the lack of French of its staff is back on its feet thanks to an outpouring of community support.
According Noovo InfoKorean restaurant Bab Sang has successfully hired a French-speaking employee and reopened its dining room doors to a sea of eager customers – even running out of ingredients some nights due to high demand.
The restaurant on Avenue Maguire came under fire last week after a report in Le Soleil revealed that no wait staff could serve customers in French and the names of the dishes were written in English on the menu.
The owner, whose native language is Korean, reportedly received threatening phone calls after the article was published, and the dining room at Bab Sang was temporarily closed.
Last week the owner said Noovo journalist Raquel Fletcher that he intended to leave Quebec because of his experience.
He had only lived there for a few months and had not yet learned French.
“I really like Quebec, so I decided to come here, even though I don’t speak French, but really, I can learn the language,” he said at the time.
Due to labor shortages, he said, he was unable to hire workers. As a result, Bab Sang’s staff was entirely made up of family members of the owner, who don’t speak French either.
Since then, however, the restaurant has hired a French-speaking member of staff – and members of the community have reportedly offered to volunteer their services to keep the restaurant open.
NO EXCUSE FROM THE MAYOR
The mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand, criticized the restaurant last week following the article in Le Soleil — too critical, according to his opposition to city hall.
“In Quebec, everything happens in French,” he said last week.
He has since stood by his remarks, saying he intended to defend French, not target this particular restaurant.
“No, I won’t apologize,” he told reporters earlier this week. “I will not say sorry to believe that we can speak French here. I will not say sorry to believe that there is a Quebec law which exists and which must be applied.”
With files from Raquel Fletcher and Emeric Montminy of Noovo Info.